Monday, February 28, 2011

Granite Conquers the Trail

Sunday was day two at Granite’s new barn. He slept easy during his first night in a stall. There were shavings in his tail and on his side to prove it. He ate every ounce of his hay but seemed to have enjoyed himself.
We decided that day two at the new barn would be the opportune time to invite some friends and hit the trail. Haha. There are a few miles of trails adjacent to the barn and Little Rachel (Barn manager’s daughter) and her pony Logan offered to show us around. Jen and her expert Hunt Horse, Pickle, and D and her Master Trail horse, Jay, both trailered over to join us. We were also joined by another boarder (Harriet) and her horse (Nacho). Of course, I have no visual for you, but there were 4 chestnuts… and Granite.

We tacked up and headed off. Granite apparently has a rather large stride because we migrated to the front of the pack rather quickly. We stayed there for the majority of the time. We went by bright orange ribbons, a windmill, no fewer than 2 tree-stands, many puddles, culverts and inclines. Granite only balked at the first puddle, but after some encouragement from Nacho, he went right through. He didn’t think twice about crossing the puddles on the way back! Granite even took the lead for a while. The trail is right next to a huge interstate, so it was loud. But, Granite handled it all like a pro. We even took a loop around the lake that scared Granite to death on Saturday. He didn’t seem to mind since he had company.

After the trail concluded, we took all the horses in the outdoor arena. I put G through his paces. He hates the bit I currently have in his mouth (a new one has shipped and should be here any day now) and he is still very looky at the new barn, so the ride wasn’t great. BUT, he rode with 4 other horses in a new arena and gave me all of his transitions. He was really a champ. Little Rachel got on and hacked him for me as well. She loved him and it made me smile.

After hosing Granite off, we went to lunch. We got back (Granite had rolled) and I decided to take advantage of the 77 degree weather and bathe the monster. This was his first bath in 4 months! I washed him twice and still could have gotten more dirt out. He stood for probably 45 minutes in the new washstall while boarders sat around and chatted with me and I bathed him. Everyone is so impressed with how patient and calm my young horse is. He has made me so so proud this weekend. I clearly don’t give the big guy enough credit.

Taking all of this into account, I think I’m ready to take him to some Hunter Paces and Schooling shows next month. Little Rachel does a lot of these things and when there’s and open spot in the trailer, I think I’ll try to catch a ride. I know he will do fine competing in a hunter pace (slow or moderate division) and I think I’ll take him just to ride him in the warm up ring at the first couple of shows. I don’t think that actually competing In a show is too far off for us! I just need to get a few more lessons, get the biting issue fixed, and save enough money for a pair of decent tall boots. We will be there so soon!


  1. Hooray!!! So excited for you guys. You are both awesome.


    I want tall boots, too.

  2. Sounds like a super exciting day! Can't wait to see pictures of the Gran-man at those hunter paces and shows :)

  3. I cant get over the fantastic names of these horses...Pickle and Nacho??? Too cute!

  4. Sounds like fun! I love the other horse's names :P Its great to hear he's so relaxed and confident on the trails. Can't wait to hear about all of your showing exploits in the (near) future!!

  5. New barn sounds great! Love that you have access to trails, so good for the baby brain. He's definitely ready for some little schooling shows and hunter paces, that will be so fun for both of you! I agree with your plan to just take him in the warm-up ring a couple of times. Keep it super lowkey. If he's totally overwhelmed (though he probably won't be) you could even just let him hang out the first time, without riding. Just walk around, hand graze, take it all in, etc. It will be good for him either way!

  6. "....this is what I call an extremely successful trail ride! I hope that our (Valie and I) first trail ride this season will be as uneventful as yours was! I can't help but marvel at the wonderful mindset that Granite has, for a young horse, he is well on his way to help you meet your goals for this year! I'm lookin' forward to reading more "tails" from you!"